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August menus: yogurt and plum burrito for breakfast, effortless open-face sandwiches, steamed clam and vegetable soup.

AUGUST MENUS Warm, relaxed days set the pace for these menus. You do as little work as possible, then enjoy the freshness of seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and seafood--cooked minimally, if at all.

Set out the elements for a refreshing sweet-tart plum, yogurt, and honey burrito. Then let the family take over; each person tailors breakfast to taste.

Lunch is equally effortless--open-face fresh mozzarella cheese sandwiches with salad greens.

An encouraging word for calorie-watchers: the easy main-dish soup of simmered clams with vegetables won't tighten your bathing suits.

Middle Eastern breakfast

Split readily available pocket breads (white or whole wheat) to make the thin burrito wrapper.

This is a serve-yourself, no-cook meal.

Middle East--style Sweet Burritos

Warm Almonds

Peach-Banana-Tangerine Cooler

If you drain yogurt, it becomes an easy-to-make version of labneh or lebni, a soft cheese-like cultured milk product sometimes sold in Middle Eastern markets. For a thick, creamy texture, use whole-milk yogurt (not nonfat or low-fat) and let it drain in the refrigerator at least 3 hours or longer. Once drained, you can scoop yogurt into a small container, cover, and chill up to a week.

Shortly before mealtime, warm the almonds, slice the plums, pinch mint leaves from stems, and split pocket breads. Whirl the other fruits in the blender to make the cooler.

Middle East--style Sweet Burritos 2 cups whole-milk yogurt 4 pocket breads (6- or 8-in. size) 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves 4 medium-size firm-ripe Santa Rosa-type plums, pitted and thinly sliced About 1/2 cup honey Ground allspice

Use yogurt as is, or drain for thicker texture. To drain, line a colander with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth. Pour yogurt into colander, cover, set in a rimmed pan, and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours as yogurt drains. Scrape drained yogurt into a serving bowl. Discard liquid.

With your fingers or a serrated knife, carefully split pocket breads in half horizontally to make thin rounds. Present bread, yogurt, mint, plums, honey, and allspice in separate containers.

To assemble a burrito, spread cut side of bread with yogurt, then arrange plum slices down center of bread. Drizzle lightly with honey, sprinkle with allspice, and top with a few mint leaves. Fold sides of bread over plums and eat out of hand. Makes 8 burritos, or 4 servings.

Warm Almonds

In the microwave, place 1 cup whole almonds in a 9-inch glass baking dish and cook on full power, stirring halfway through cooking, until nuts are very warm to touch, about 2 minutes.

On the range, place 1 cup whole almonds in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan often, until nuts are very warm to touch, 6 to 8 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Peach-Banana-Tangerine Cooler 2 medium-size ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted 2 medium-size ripe bananas 1 can (6 oz.) frozen tangerine juice concentrate, partially thawed 1-1/2 cups cold water

Cut 4 lengthwise slices from 1 of the peach halves; place each slice on the edge of a tall glass. In a blender, puree until very smooth the remaining peaches, bananas, tangerine juice concentrate, and water. Pour into glasses. Serves 4.

Quick clam soup dinner

Clams simmer in a light broth for this quick dinner entree.

The melon can begin or end the meal, as you like.

Clam and Vegetable Soup with Fennel

Breadsticks Butter

Melon Wedges with Cayenne or Cinnamon

Sauvignon Blanc or Cold Tomato Juice

Combine elements for the soup base; boil to concentrate flavors. Add celery and red bell peppers, then clams; simmer briefly to open clams.

Clam and Vegetable Soup with Fennel 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 4 bottles (8 oz. each) clam juice 6 cups regular-strength chicken broth 2 cups dry white wine 1/4 cup lemon juice 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed 6 large stalks celery, sliced diagonally about 1/8 inch thick 3 medium-size red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut in half, then thinly sliced crosswise 4 pounds whole clams (in shells), suitable for steaming, well scrubbed Fresh fennel sprigs or celery leaves

Cook bacon in an 8- to 10-quart pan over medium heat, stirring until crisp. Lift out and drain on paper towels; discard fat.

Add clam juice, chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, and fennel seed to pan. Boil over high heat, uncovered, until reduced to 10 cups, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add celery and bell peppers to broth, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are just tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add clams, return to simmer, and cook, covered, until clams open, about 4 minutes more.

To serve, ladle soup into wide bowls, top with bacon, and garnish with fennel sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

Melon Wedges with Cayenne

or Cinnamon 1 small (about 3 lb.) crenshaw melon Cayenne or ground cinnamon 1 small orange, cut into 4 wedges

Quarter melon; scoop out and discard seeds. Sprinkle each quarter with a little cayenne. Offer orange wedges to squeeze over each portion. Makes 4 servings.

Italian lunch plate

This knife-and-fork sandwich-and-salad meal relies on the natural flavors of good ingredients, simply presented.

Italian Toast and Salad Plate

Muscat-type Grapes

Gamay Beaujolais or Iced Tea

Preparation is simple: wash lettuce and chill until crisp; then assemble toasts.

You top toasted bread with basil, tomatoes, and slices of fresh, soft mozzarella. Some Italian delicatessens and cheese shops regularly carry this mild cheese, or you may need to special order it.

At the table, offer a cruet of fragrant extra-virgin olive oil to pour over the sandwich, cured meats, and lettuce. A squeeze of lemon juice and a grind of black pepper also accent the flavors.

Italian Toast and Salad Plate 1 large head (about 3/4 lb.) butter lettuce 4 large slices (about 1/2 in. thick) sourdough bread 1 clove garlic, cut in half Extra-virgin olive oil 12 large fresh basil leaves 1 large tomato, cored and cut into 8 slices 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, or regular mozzarella, cut into 8 equal slices 1/4 pound thinly sliced coppa, or dry salami 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, or cooked ham Lemon wedges Salt and pepper

Cut lettuce through the core to make 4 equal wedges. Rinse, drain, and wrap in paper towels, then in plastic; chill.

Toast bread (in a toaster or under the broiler) until lightly browned on both sides. Lightly rub each slice of toast on one side with garlic, then brush lightly with olive oil.

Place 1 piece toast on each of 4 dinner plates. Top each toast with 3 basil leaves, then 2 tomato slices and 2 slices mozzarella, overlapping tomatoes and cheese to fit on bread.

Arrange equal portions coppa and prosciutto alongside toasts. Set 1 lettuce wedge and 2 or 3 lemon wedges on each plate. Offer olive oil and salt and pepper to season each serving to taste. Eat with knife and fork. Makes 4 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Aug 1, 1986
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